Community: An Amalgamation Of Smaller Community Groups
“[Austin people] are not either/or. They are and. Coffee and beer. BBQ joints and vegan potlucks. Students and Techies. State-capital bureaucrats and weed-toking slackers — admittedly those are sometimes the same people.”
-Virginia Woodruff, An Open Love Letter to Austin, Texas
In most cases, no one likes being called ‘weird.’ Being weird implies that you’re a little off. If you’re weird you’re not really an outsider, but you’re not quite an accepted member of the community. Not in Austin, TX. In our community weird is a strived for badge of honor.
Have you ever been to Austin? Being ‘weird’ here is an affectionate compliment of the highest level. Austin’s neighborhoods are the embodiment of an almost unbelievable combination of oxymorons and contradictions. Perhaps no one has described our modernly in-flux, vibrantly weird capital city of the Nation of Texas better than local blogger Virginia Woodruff. It’s not easy to define what the Greater Austin Community is like, but perhaps I can introduce you to Austin by helping you understand the smaller parts that make it up.
Any community is, at its core, just a coalescence of smaller groups making up a greater whole. The greater Chicago community couldn’t be the same without Wrigleyville and NYC wouldn’t be the same New York community without Brooklyn or Queens. In this way, every smaller Austin neighborhood contributes a flavor and identity to the essence of what we know as the greater Austin community. An Austin without East Austin might take away some of our city’s signature weirdness and an Austin without the food truck culture would certainly make the food scene less unique, exciting, and loved. An Austin without any part of it – whether that be the prepsters, the hispters, the knitters, or the fitsers – just wouldn’t be the same.
Maybe the most important criteria to understand about the Austin Community is this: Austin people own our Community like UT owns its football team. We take pride in our community’s strengths, band together to fix its weaknesses, and revel in an appreciation of our local economy. We want it to be ours, but we also want other people to love it the way we do.
Henceforth, we can see a problem. Unless you come to Austin and experience it physically, you can’t feel the essence of our Community. You can’t love it with us. There is simply nothing that captures community interactions in a realistic way online, much less those of a community as interesting and heterogeneous as Austin. In response to this, we are developing OurPangea to leverage the group dynamics that create real-life communities—interactions, experiences, and information –to bring our entire communities online for anyone, anywhere in the world to glimpse. By capturing the “requirements” of community and putting it at your fingertips, we want to empower you to travel the world like never before.